As the former Senior Weatherman at the BBC Weather Centre, Bill was born in Dittisham, near Dartmouth in Devon. He retired from the Met Office in January 2000 after leading the team of Broadcast Meteorologists since 1983. He first became interested in meteorology whilst at school in Crediton and joined the Meteorological Office at Exeter in January 1957 on leaving Bristol College of Science and Technology. Later that year he was sent to Christmas Island to observe the immediate meteorological effects of the H-bomb tests. From 1961 to 1963 he was based in Germany as an observer with the RAF and between 1968 and 1970 worked as a lecturer at the Met Office’s training college. His broadcasting career began in 1972 when he transferred to the London Weather Centre to become part of the team forecasting for BBC Radio.
He moved to television forecasting in 1975. In 1980 promotion took him back to Bracknell where he worked in public relations and then, in May 1983, returned to take charge of BBC Television’s forecasting team, on the retirement of Jack Scott. October 1990 saw the publication of his book “The Weather Story”, and he presented the BBC programme “The Weather Show”, which provided an insight into the mysteries of forecasting and offered a glimpse behind the scenes at the kind of things that can go wrong. Since his retirement, he has been a Director of Weather Index Ltd. He has now formed his own company The Weather People Ltd. He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife. He has a son and daughter. His hobbies include bowling, cricket and gardening. He was awarded the O.B.E in the 1995 New Year’s Honours for services to broadcast meteorology.
John originally trained as a professional photographer, joining the BBC in 1966 where, as a film editor he worked on a variety of programmes including ‘Some Mothers do ‘ave em”. He joined the BBC Presentation Department as an Assistant Producer with a wide range of duties including network directing, producing trailers, and directing the weather. In 1975 he directed Bill Giles’s first broadcast. Through the 70’s and into the 80’s John had many responsibilities including network director, studio director, promotions producer, the editorial planning of daytime transmissions, implementing a computer scheduling system, and directing events for Eurovision. Also during this time he became more involved with weather and was responsible for the introduction of electronic weather graphics in 1985. He was responsible for leading the project for the BBC Weather Centre, which opened in September 1991.
Five years later he opened the second phase of the Centre in September 1996. John was the Editor for BBC Weather Broadcasts, responsible for running the BBC Weather Centre, with a team of 25 broadcast meteorologists producing over 120 broadcast every 24 hours. He was Editor of the successful Weather Show series, directing and filming many of the episodes himself. He is Honorary Secretary of the International Association of Broadcast Meteorology and has been responsible for many training workshops on behalf of the World Meteorological Organisation.
Since retiring from the BBC in September 2001, he set up The Weather People with Bill Giles. His hobbies include the arts, in particular the theatre, not only as an amateur thespian, but also directing plays and musicals. John is a Fellow and former Vice President of the Royal Meteorological Society and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. UK.